If You Want to Lose Weight Stop Doing This

October 19, 2015

Losing weight can be a daunting task whether you’re working on twenty, fifty or a hundred pounds (or more). Constantly thinking about the TOTAL amount of weight you want to lose can be discouraging and actually set you back.

Imagine if I stood up today and said, “I’m going to climb Mount Everest.”

Then I set a deadline: “in two months I will have climbed the mountain.”

And as often happens… “I cannot, will not be truly happy or proud of myself till I’m at the top.”

Then I start climbing. My initial enthusiasm wears off as I realize how hard it’s going to be. Just getting through the first week took all my energy. I push through and keep looking at the summit but instead of feeling inspired as I initially was, I start to feel discouraged. My two-month timeline comes and goes and I feel like a failure.

One day I sit down to rest and I don’t get back up. Weeks go by. Instead of continuing upwards, I start walking down, back the way I came. I think “someday I’ll do it. I’m not strong enough/motivated enough/focused enough right now. There’s no point.”

And I hate myself for it. Other people have done it, why not me?

It’s Not About How Quickly You Get There

I may not be able to start climbing Everest today but I could climb the hill behind my house. After a few weeks of that I might try some bigger ones. And if I keep at it, with consistency and celebrating the journey, in two years from now I WILL be at the top of the mountain.

Or perhaps I’ll find the top was never what I wanted… It was a journey I needed to take to improve my health and three-quarters of the way there I realized “I’m happy right where I’m at.”

That’s how I wish people would approach weight loss. It’s your journey to better health, not a destination you arrive at. Celebrate the milestones and not just the ones you see on the bathroom scale. Celebrate that you are moving your body more, that you’ve improved your cardiovascular health, that you’ve doubled the amount of fresh produce you eat. Celebrate that you’ve started making yourself a priority and are discovering who you are and what you love again. Celebrate that you are becoming the example you’ve always wanted to be to your children about leading a healthy lifestyle.

There is so much to be thankful for.

When you’re rushing towards the summit, you’re missing out on some beautiful scenery along the way. It may take a little longer to get there, but that’s ok. You are more likely to develop a love for climbing (and what I really mean by that is making healthier choices!) than if you are constantly looking for the next summit (and what I really mean by that is the next extreme diet or fitness challenge!) to feel like your best self.

As we say in the Balance365 Community: You can do it. We’re here to help.